Oral History | Radio

South Side Weekly Radio Pilot

In episode two of SSW Radio, Lowell “RaceMan” Thompson, who was born in Bronzeville in 1947 and became one of the first residents of the Robert Taylor Homes, discusses his past as a rare black face in the advertising industry. Angel Davanport, hip-hop musician of the Skigh Mob and Rapper Chicks collectives, talks about her unorthodox musical background and the glass ceiling for women in hip-hop.

Labor | Oral History

Victor Storino, Steelworker, 73

Julie Wu

Victor Storino, who goes by “Vic,” was born in Calabria, the toe of Italy. Following his father and sister, he and his brother came to the United States in 1958 to find work on Chicago’s East Side. He moved in with his father, he says, and if he hadn’t, he “would have been deadbeat,” unable to make enough to support himself on the minimum wage. After a short stint at Wisconsin Steel, Vic joined Republic Steel in 1961, where he would work until the plant shut down in 2002. . In that time, he served three terms as president of Local 1033, a chapter of United Steelworkers of America, and learned English in night classes. Since then he’s been heavily involved with the South Chicago chapter of SOAR, the retirees’ branch of United Steelworkers. We speak after the chapter’s monthly meeting, in a back room at Memorial Hall, 117th Street and Avenue O. The hall, once the permanent home of Local 1033, is now a United Methodist Church; the lot across the street, once home to Republic Steel, is now an empty field. Continue reading